Friday, September 25, 2009

Catching Up on the News

I read quite a few news stories this morning, and the following ones caught my attention for a variety of reasons, funny or more serious.

Canadian Young Adults Greener, Better Traveled, and More Free-Spirited Than American Counterparts - this one just made me smile, since I hold dual Canadian/American citizenship, and I'm not totally sure which category I'd fall into!

Wall of Smoke Leaves Calgary Area in a Haze - I've definitely noticed the smoke, particularly on Wednesday, and the smell that came with it. I'm not complaining too much, though, since it's brought beautiful sunrises and sunsets as well.

Christian Group Condemns Zoo's Elephant Sculpture - I didn't know quite how to respond to this one. I do visit the zoo often, and to be honest, anyone who knows anything about world religions would be able to recognize that this statue is modeled after Ganesh, even if the zoo claims that they had all the religious symbolism removed. I knew immediately the first time I saw it that I was looking at an image of a Hindu deity, and I'm not even all that familiar with Eastern religions. I mostly think the statue is kind of ugly, and I certainly won't be posing with it anytime soon for a picture. However, I would object to the suggestion that the grounds of the zoo become a place for educating the public on world religions, and I cannot imagine a cross and all the other things that the article suggests erecting on the zoo grounds as well. I have to wonder why we as Christians can't be content with the fact that the very scriptures we seek to proclaim talk about all creation crying out and speaking of it's creator. Seems to me that hundreds of animals, beautiful gardens, and park-like grounds that are all constantly "speaking" of their creator means that we've got one slightly ugly sculpture outnumbered anyway. The whole thing makes me think of that famous quote from St. Francis of Assisi "Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary use words." I just kind of wish Christian groups would stop making a fuss about things like this, and do things like getting involved somewhere. If you're concerned about the zoo, become a volunteer. They have tons of volunteers. Get involved and teach kids about the beauty of the animal world that cries out about it's creator.

Indonesian Baby Weighs in at 19.2 Pounds - Mostly, this one caught my attention because of the picture of the "little" guy between two other babies in the nursery. He's so large that the picture was, to me anyway, truly comical!

New Jersey Woman Celebrates 100th Birthday by Showing up for Work As Usual - How inspiring! This lovely old lady is still going strong. And imagine all the changes she's weathered since her life began in 1909! Even the very fact that she survived the 1918 flu epidemic is fascinating to me (being the history geek that I am!). Think young!

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate - Because Joel Stein almost always has a line or two that makes me laugh. My favorite line this time? "Feder really sees the good side of life-threatening disesases."

A TIME magazine interview with Chuck Colson - Colson is definitely not my favorite voice, but he has demonstrated a consistent integrity, and a commitment to social justice issues through his prison ministry. Would I likely go about things the same way? No. Do I agree with a lot of what he says? No. But do I respect his integrity and believe that if more of the "Christian Right" in North America lived in this way, they'd have a better reputation? Yes. As such, I found it interesting to read his responses to the interviewer.